Riverdale Star Camila Mendes on How to Relax and Be Productive at the Same Time

Before 24-year-old Camila Mendes was cast as sharp-tongued teen Veronica Lodge on the hit CW series Riverdale, she almost never experienced stress. Or at least the need to spend time alone and decompress just didn’t factor into the actress’s equation. Even throughout a childhood of moving all over the country, including spending a year of her life in Brazil, where her parents were from, her vivacious, extroverted personality type kept her head well above water.

It’s that outgoing nature that helped score Mendes not only her breakout TV role but also her position as a spokesperson for haircare brand John Frieda. (Though her dark, impossibly shiny hair probably didn't hurt, either.) “I’ve been a big John Frieda fan since I was in fifth grade because I had really frizzy hair growing up, and their Frizz-Ease serum has always been my go-to,” she told me over the phone.

Now that Mendes is in her mid-20s and starring on a smash-hit series—constantly traveling, shooting, and attending events with her Riverdale co-stars (she's become so close with Lili Reinhart that the two are actually living together while on break from filming)—that developing a de-stressing routine has become important for the first time in her life.

When presented with the opportunity to chat with Mendes, I was interested to hear about how a natural extrovert manages to balance her explosive professional and social life with the health of her mind, body, and skin. What I didn’t expect was to relate so profoundly to her insight and wisdom. Want to know Camila Mendes’s tips for relaxation, productivity, and the skincare secret she shares with Lili Reinhart? Keep scrolling to read our exclusive interview.

What are some of the ways you take care of yourself mentally and physically when your schedule is super busy?

Honestly, my big thing is I like to be pampered. I love going in for facials and massages. I leave it to the experts to take care of my skin and my body when I’m in moments of stress because I know I’m gonna be in good hands. And, truthfully, I feel like the secret to everything is just sleeping enough. That’s the simplest way to keep your skin looking clear and healthy, and when I don’t sleep enough, I really start to see the effects of that in my skin.

Do you have favorite places to get facials or massages?

I go to Kate Somerville in L.A. a lot. They give great facials, and it’s relaxing. I was recommended there by my co-star Lili [Reinhart], and she’s like a skin expert, so I feel like if she says something’s good, I immediately do it. Lili and I are living together right now in a furnished rental in L.A. for our hiatus [from Riverdale]. I feel like I learn a lot from her in terms of skincare.

But massages have always kind of been my thing. I try to go twice a month. When I’m in Vancouver, I have this Thai spa that I go to that’s really calm and zen, and it’s not super bougie—it’s just this really humble, modest place. And the masseuses are incredible. Those are usually the types of massage spas I lean toward. I feel like the bougie ones can be a little much. I just want a good therapist. Although, John Frieda actually just sent me to a massage as a little gift. That was amazing. They took me to Ciel Spa at SLS. And it was bougie, but I loved it. I feel like every once in a while, it’s nice to indulge.

Going back to sleep, do you have tips for how to fall asleep faster or sleep deeper?

To be honest, sleep has never been a problem for me. I fall asleep like a baby, and I don’t wake up until morning. My problem is more that I sometimes see sleep as a waste. I’m usually more active at night, so I find that even if I’m definitely tired enough to fall asleep, I don’t choose to. Because I’m like, this is my one section of quiet time in all the chaos of the daily life I live now.

Nighttime is usually the time that I get to myself to really do all the things that nurture my soul—whether it’s going on Tumblr and just reblogging things, making my to-do lists, or writing in my journal. I do those things at pretty late hours, and sometimes I lose sleep because of it, so it’s a sacrifice. But I feel like they’re good things. They’re things that make me happy.

No, that’s great. Having a wind-down routine is so important. Have you always been a journaler?

Actually, no, I haven’t. Recently, within the past year, I have. But I never used to do that before. I wasn’t really big on alone time; I’m a very social person, but I think recently I’ve kind of forced myself to become more isolated because it’s necessary. There’s so much noise happening all the time, and this life of being an actor gets so crazy that I quickly realized if I don’t force myself to just lock myself in my room and have my own time, I’ll start to go crazy.

What does a typical evening alone look like for you?

I always play music; I search for music. Sometimes I’ll go on my Spotify Discover Weekly, and I’ll just shuffle it. And every time I hear a song that I really like, I’ll add it to my playlist. That’s on the back of my mind while I do other things, and if I notice a song that sticks out to me, I’ll do that. It’s funny, now that I think about it; my forms of relaxation are honestly quite productive. I really need to learn how to relax efficiently.

Wait, explain.

I just mean I’m like actively journaling or looking for music. Like, I’m doing things. It’s not just sitting back watching TV. Even the music I listen to—I don’t like super-relaxing music; I still like something that I could dance to even if it isn’t upbeat.

What’s on your playlist right now?

Let me pull up my phone so I can actually remember. Oh, well, I was shooting a film, and one of our ADs would play Durand Jones & The Indications, which is like this really soulful band. They just kind of play really classic soul music. And it’s got like a little bit of a groove, but it’s got like a slower beat. And that, to me, again, kind of mirrors that same feeling of wanting something that feels like it’s moving forward.

Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type?

Yes! Wait, did you see my tweet or something?

No, I was just curious!

Oh my gosh, that’s so funny you asked because I just tweeted about this. My sister is obsessed with Myers-Briggs, and she always has been. My whole family—we kind of use it as a way to describe people. We use the lingo constantly.

What are you?

I’m an ENFJ.

So am I.

No way!

Well, a lot of what you were saying about how your relaxation is productive, I relate so hardcore to that, so I was wondering if we were the same.

The ENFJ is the achiever, right? Yeah.

I have tried to start getting into journaling, too. But I’m wondering: How do you make a habit out of it? Do you have any tips for how to make journaling seem fun instead of a task or a job?

Totally. I think I used to treat it like a task, like “I’m gonna write in my journal every morning and every night so I know I’m on top of it,” but I think you can’t think of it that way. It should be the one thing in your life that does feel natural and that you only do when you really want to. So I only journal when I feel like I need to get something out of my head. And if I need to sort something out with myself or I don’t want to talk to anybody else about something, and I really just need to deal with a problem on my own.

I’m still so shook over how much I relate to the instinct that even when you’re relaxing, you’re still making to-do lists without even realizing it.

Well, that to me is relaxing!

Same, same. ENFJ, girl. Forever.

I know—I love that. ENFJ forever. ♦